Polyester vs Cotton – which bed sheets should I buy?

Polyester vs Cotton – which bed sheets should I buy?

By the end of this post you will know exactly which sheets you should invest in for your home or establishment.

I am going to breakdown all the differences between these two materials and provide explanations of their most favourable qualities.

It can be confusing to work out which is the better fabric for sleep, which is why I will recommend the best option for you and your sleeping habits.

First, let’s get into the main differences between these two materials…

Polyester vs Cotton – what’s the difference?

Cotton is a natural fibre that is found in the seedpod of the cotton plant. It can be knit or woven into a soft fabric and is popular for many household items.

Polyester is a broader term that refers to a man-made fabric that is manufactured from the raw materials of petroleum.

There are some major differences between these two materials:

Material Cotton Polyester
Raw Material Soft and fluffy seedpod found in the cotton plant. The acids and alcohol found in petroleum.
Manufacturing Process Either knitted or woven to process the yarn into fabric. Plastic chips are either heated or soaked in water and then pressurised to form the yarn.
History Can be traced back to 800 A.D when Arab merchants brought cotton cloth to Europe. Invented in 1941 by British scientists John Whinfield and James Dickson in England.
Breathability Made from natural fibres that allow your skin to breathe. The man-made fibres aren’t as breathable and can keep in warmth.
Fabric Care The natural fibres are more vulnerable and can be prone to shrinking if not cared for properly. Easy to wash, fast drying and more resistant against wrinkles.
Durability As it is a biodegradable material, it will break down over time. However, it is still a strong fabric that will last a number of years. As this this a man-made material, it is incredibly durable and resilient against wear and tear.
Comfort Favoured for it’s softness, comfort and fluffy feel. High quality fabrics can be very comfortable and soften through washing.

Although it might seem like there are lots of differences between these two fabrics, they do also have some similarities. Some of which include:

• They both have good levels of warmth

• They are both able to be blended with other materials to create new fabrics

• They are both good value for money and have affordable options available

• They both offer anti-allergy products

One of the most notable differences between these two fabrics is the temperature. Many favour cotton for its coolness, but does this really mean it’s better quality?

Keep reading to find out how it will affect your sleep…

Are cotton sheets cooler than polyester?

Hot weather during Summer can be one of the biggest factors that affects your sleep quality. Even if you keep windows open, use a fan and drink plenty of water, your bedding could be preventing you from keeping cool.

As cotton is a natural material, it has cooler properties that allow for better air circulation.

A breeze is the best way to keep you cool, but if the fabric you’re wearing doesn’t allow it to pass through, then you won’t feel the benefits. Polyester isn’t as breathable, so doesn’t let as much air or wind pass through.

Although, it isn’t always this black and white. It also depends on the manufacturing of the material. For example, a tightly woven cotton fabric that is made with thick yarns would not be as breathable as a looser polyester fabric that was made with lighter yarns.

The fabric weight does play a big role in the coolness of these two fabrics, but when comparing similar weights, cotton will always be more breathable.

Another factor to consider when analysing the coolness of a fabric is the moisture absorption.

With cotton, the fibres will absorb sweat from your body and adhere to the area that is producing the sweat. This allows for evaporation whilst the moisture is in contact with your skin, which has a fantastic cooling affect (although some don’t like the visible sweat patches).

Some polyester fabrics can trap moisture in the garment and prevent it from escaping, which will raise your body temperature. This may be ideal for keeping warm in Winter, but not when you need to be cool in Summer.

Although, there are some moisture wicking fabrics that are designed to absorb the sweat away from your skin and be pushed to the outer layer to be evaporated. However, sweat is supposed to be evaporated straight off the skin to cool down your body, so moisture wicking fabrics may not necessarily be ideal in hot weather.

To some, the coolness of bedsheets is not the most important factor. Keep reading to find out which is better quality out of cotton and polyester…

Are cotton sheets better than polyester?

If you are focused on comfort and coolness, you will prefer cotton bed sheets. If you see the importance in easy care, affordability and longevity, look into polyester bed sheets.

Cotton is much cooler than polyester, and most favour this fabric for its soft and fluffy qualities when they are sleeping. However, many opt for polyester as it is still a soft and comfortable material whilst also being very affordable, easy to care for and has excellent durability.

If you have a large household or establishment with lots of bedding to maintain, this may be the best material for you. The anti-wrinkle properties and fast drying abilities make it a breeze to maintain throughout the years.

It will also get softer with every wash, which is another favourable quality. Although, every skin type is different, and some claim to find it more irritating on the skin than cotton.

There is no ‘better’ option when it comes to these two materials, as it depends on your personal preferences and what is most important to you when buying new bed sheets.


What are the best cotton sheets to buy?

These 100% cotton satin bed sheets are soft, silky and luxuriously comfortable. These sheets have a soft sheen which creates a super smooth finish. Available in white, cream and black, they are perfect for any hotel, B&B or guest house looking to create a more premium feel in their rooms.

To read more about this material and why you should invest in it, take a look at our ‘Percale vs Sateen – what’s the difference?’ article.

buy 100% cotton bed sheets

100% Premium Cotton Bed Sheets

These 100% cotton bed sheets are smooth, silky and luxuriously soft. They are the perfect sheets to relax into for a great night’s sleep. Available in range of colours, sizes and bedding options.

buy 100% cotton bed sheets

If you’re on a budget, these polyester sheets will still give you a great night’s sleep…

The best Polyester sheets you can purchase for your bedding…

Polyester can be just as soft as cotton if high quality sheets are purchased. Just like any fabric, the quality of the material and manufacturing plays a huge role in the overall softness and feel.
These flame retardant sheets are made from 100% top quality polyester that is highly durable, easy to care for and incredibly safe.
Flame retardant bedding gets to the root of the problem and works to put out the flame, rather than simply preventing it from spreading.

buy 100% polyester bed sheets

100% Polyester Flame Retardant Bed Sheets

These flame and fire retardant fitted bed sheets are made from 100% premium polyester. Not only are they soft, comfortable and affordable, but they also provide maximum safety for your home or establishment.
buy 100% polyester bed sheets

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